Joan Naviyuk Kane

A man goes on a journey,

          a woman does not. Instead,

birches murmur into the song

          of a bird unseen,

the forest endlessly receding.

To be alone

          and without purpose:

a seed borne on wind

          to flat stones arrayed

on a remote shore, witness

          to news, songs, myelin.

One of her last friends

          a succession of ribs,

distinct and vast in sudden collapse.

Mother, we make no choices. Mother,

          I count your frail bones.

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